One of the big reasons that I have been working with my 2-5th graders on stopmotion and film creation is so that they become critical readers/viewers of information. I believe there is no better way to understand how to analyze information than to learn to create it yourself. The lessons aren't about stopmotion or teaching a certain program. Instead, they are building a conversation about analyzing what you see and deciding whether it is credible.
One of my favorite pieces from AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner is: Maintain a critical stance by questioning the validity and accuracy of all information.
A component of NCTE's Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment is:
Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneously presented information
Students in the 21st century must be able to take information from multiple places and in a variety of different formats, determine its reliability, and create new knowledge from that information.
After 2 quick lessons, student are watching film a bit differently. A few weeks ago, many of the students merely believed what they saw because they saw it. Now, after sharing some video tricks and inviting kids in on the creation process, they are realizing that things are not always as they appear. This week, I plan to show a few video clips to further illustrate the importance of critical viewing of information. Here are a few clips that often work well with kids in upper elementary.
I first saw this clip at a workshop years ago where I learned about Concerned Children's Advertisers. They have other PSAs that are great for teaching kids to think for themselves. As part of their 20th Anniversary, CCA is hosting a Media Literacy Campaign.
Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
BBC Flying Penguins (April Fool!) paired with Penguins April Fool--Making Of
These clips can serve so many purposes in our teaching. They are a great conversation starters about reliable information. Just because it is on a video doesn't necessarily make it true. How do you check your information?
These clips can also serve as great nonfiction mentors for our students. Many of our grade levels write literary nonfiction. and I love using these "fake" nonfiction pieces to really analyze--what language and tone do they use to convince us of the information? How is this "nonfiction" writing different from narrative? It is always powerful to teach students the language of good nonfiction through films like these.
I find that great video clips like this can serve lots of purposes in our teaching. I am on the lookout for lots more!